Tag Archives: poetry challenge

Light on water

Drifting away down
under a dread
uncertain future
drowning
you are the light
at the top
of the water

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For all those helping us through lockdown

Bye bye Blackbird

Last spring the laurel hedge by my window was empty
No chirruping, calling, no rustling of glossy leaves
No fledglings edging off the nest onto twigs and then the adjacent fence
No wobbling and frantic flapping as parents patiently cajole
No triumphant flights to the Rose bushes
Only to tumble to the grass
As the chosen twig was too thin

I didn’t see a blackbird in my garden all summer
An oven of a season, hot, glaring, unseasonal in England
I mourn the fathers melodies, sung full voiced to advent dawn
The mother following me, chatting as she pirated fallen chicken feed
All those babies, remember the funeral my small sons conducted
For a tiny one found dead mid-lawn

Our erstwhile neighbours
Missing, presumed…..?

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A second poem written in reponse to Earthweal’s challenge ‘Ghosts’ at

https://earthweal.com/2020/01/13/weekly-challenge-ghosts/

Please go and see what else is there!

This poem is also a direct reponse to Sumana Roy’s poem “Bring them Back”

https://gangulisumana60.wordpress.com/2020/01/13/bring-them-back/

 

Our strange stay here on Earth

We did not ask for this
we cannot control what we must
we can only rise to the times
and do what we see as right.
There is no one there to listen
no parent in the sky
we are the author of our souls
the believer in our faith
children of the universe.
Intellect and compassion?
Built solely from an interplay of atomic particles
our strange stay here on Earth
the true miracle of chance and physics

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This poem was inspired by reading:

I have not asked for life.
But I try to accept whatever
life brings without surprise.
And I shall depart again without having
questioned anyone about my strange
stay here on earth.

Omar Khayyam

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Friday Poem: Sleep

When all, and birds, and creeping beasts,
When the dark of night is deep,
From the moving wonder of their lives
Commit themselves to sleep.

Without a thought, or fear, they shut
The narrow gates of sense;
Heedless and quiet, in slumber turn
Their strength to impotence.

The transient strangeness of the earth
Their spirits no more see:
Within a silent gloom withdrawn,
They slumber in secrecy.

Two worlds they have–a globe forgot,
Wheeling from dark to light;
And all the enchanted realm of dream
That burgeons out of night.

by  Walter de la Mare

Hidden Freedoms

Child of Empire, he freely starved in Valetta
Free to resent the many fat priests
Free to go
Desperate, hoping

Stowaway to Istanbul
Free to be beaten by the Ottomans
Sent back to hunger
Not stopped yet

Stowaway to Britain
Set loose in Imperial London
Free to prosper
Free to work

Free-diver repairing Brighton’s Pier
Freely volunteered in 1914’s Expeditionary Force
Free to marry, to be British
Free to stay

Forty descendants, freely British
Freely given gifts of a Maltese boy
Seven fought in British wars
Immigration can be a free gift

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Written for Today’s National Poetry Day, which this year has the theme of Freedom.

As usual, when given a prompt or theme, my mind heads off slightly askew. This poem tells some of the story of my Maltese Grandfather. He came to Britain as a stowaway with nothing, found welcome and work. We need to remember how many of us are descended from people like him — and to remember to allow others similar freedoms.

Future

As we move through space
We move through time
One controlled
The other inexorable

As the future approaches
We can but hold our head high
Wait for the chances
Have the courage to leap

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The last  poem from the challenge I’ve been following for a short while. This poem is in response to the prompt ‘future’.

Landscapes

My poetry is often triggered by landscape
By empty skies and lonely hills
Or the scattered beauty of an archipelago
I struggle
Again and again
To paint with watercolours
What I can paint with words

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Another part of the daily challenge I’m following for a short while. This poem is in response to the prompt ‘landscape’.

Bookivore

Reading on a screen is a hollow sham

Handling a real book
Feeling it’s weight
Looking at its cover
(Often old fashioned)
Turning paper pages

The way a second hand poetry book
Can fall open at a poem
That was once loved
And repeatedly read
By a stranger

All pleasure

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Another part of the daily challenge I’m following for a short while. This poem is in response to the prompt ‘pleasure’.

Orphan

Poetry is the orphan of silence
Begging for  attention
Word spaces and line breaks
Her crutches
Whatever the poem describes to you
Is  a shadow
A portion
A flavour
Of what the poet is trying to say

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Another part of the daily challenge I’m following for a short while. This poem is in response to the prompt ‘flavour’. The first line is a quote from the poet Charles Simic.

Suomenlinna

From Suomenlinna’s low cliffs
Several islands lie
Incomplete and rudimentary
Dusky pink in glinting waves
Seeming large
Until a ferry passes to provide scale

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Another part of the daily challenge I’m following for a short while. This poem is in response to the prompt ‘imperfect’.

….And yes, I skipped yesterday……..busy taking my eldest back to university………

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